The Roku Channel launches dedicated Spanish language hub, adds new content partners

Roku has launched a new destination hub on The Roku Channel geared toward U.S. Hispanic audiences that features a broad aggregated collection of Spanish language programming.

Dubbed Espacio Latino, The Roku Channel has brought on a slate of new content partners for the offering, as well as existing, to help address what it says is a strong appetite for Spanish language content on the platform, which is free to users.

New partners include NBCUniversal Telemundo, Hemisphere Media Group, Cisneros Media, Eurochannel, The Weather Channel en Español, and Canela.TV. Existing partners with content on Espacio Latino include Lionsgate, Cinedigm, A+E Networks, BBC Studios, Sony Pictures Television, Film Movement, Pantaya, Estrella TV, TelevisaUnivision, and beIN Sports.

“It’s exciting to be a part of the launch of Espacio Latino and we look forward to providing the platform with the premium content we know our audiences enjoy,” said Alan J. Sokol, president and CEO of Hemisphere Media Group. “As content providers, our goal is to meet viewers where they are, and this new partnership gives us the opportunity to deliver on our promise to bring high-quality, culturally relevant content to the Hispanic/Latino communities we serve.”

According to Roku, nearly 70% of Spanish language viewing households that watch The Roku Channel use the platform at least three days a week and don’t have pay TV.

The new hub will feature thousands of hours of free movies and TV shows in Spanish, as well as popular English language shows that are dubbed and sub-titled in Spanish. Roku is bringing original and exclusive content to Espacio Latino, including a new Spanish-language Roku original called “Born Narco,” which debuts July 8.

There are also 50 live TV channels in Spanish, with more than 25 that are new to the Roku Channel. They span sports, news, entertainment, telenovelas, movies, and music, with content from Canela.TV, Estrella TV, TelevisaUnivision, and more.

The offering is free to watch, but users can also add Spanish-language Premium subscriptions.

Ashley Hovey, head of The Roku Channel AVOD, called the launch of Espacio Latino an exciting step towards creating a unified Spanish language experiences for millions of streamers.

“Our team worked diligently with some of the most renowned content providers in the Spanish language space to create a robust lineup of top tier telenovelas, sports, news, movies, TV series and more for audiences to enjoy for free,” Hovey stated. “We’re ecstatic to introduce Espacio Latino and can’t wait to continue creating a strong Spanish language entertainment experience on The Roku Channel.” 

Roku also touted advertising opportunities from the new offering, as a way for marketers to connect with viewers who watch Spanish language content and who are no longer found on traditional TV.  The Lego Group has signed on as a sponsor for Espacio Latino at launch. 

In terms of the advertising experience for viewers, ads on Espacio Latino will appear in Spanish if users are watching with Spanish subtitles or audio, but will appear in English if English subtitles are on.

The Roku device language settings determine if the user interface and playback settings are Spanish or English. Audio and subtitle options can be adjusted to preference through the Roku user device settings. The new hub can be found under the “Categories” tab on The Roku Channel Home Screen.

Roku isn’t the only platform looking to cater and tailor programming options to Spanish language viewers. YouTube TV in May started offering a $34.99 per month streaming plan featuring 28 Spanish-language only channels, without the need to subscribe to a base YouTube TV plan. It also launched a new add-on to its base plan, offering access to 25 additional Spanish-language channels for $14.99 per month.

And last month Adsmovil unveiled Neustra.TV, an AVOD service offering bilingual and bicultural content geared towards Hispanic audiences.